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Yi Jin and Jianbo Zhang

This paper presents a new answer to the old question of how to aggregate individual beliefs. We construct a model which allows agents to take arbitrage opportunities against the aggregated belief by making contingent claims against the states, and the aggregator (market maker) regulates the probability of states. When all claims from the agents are mutually covered for every realization of the state, an aggregation of individual beliefs is thus obtained. We prove the existence and uniqueness of the equilibrium aggregation, and also show that the aggregate belief lies in the convex hull of individual beliefs. This model allows us to address some important problems such as how individual agent’s attitude toward risk and wealth endowment affect the outcome of the aggregation process, and whether the aggregate belief satisfies the well-known properties like equal treatment.

Prakong Nimmanahaeminda

Water is essential in the Thai-Tai way of life. Thai people in Thailand as well as Tai peoples outside Thailand depend on water for agriculture, domestic daily uses, transportation and recreation. This paper is a result of an in-depth study of the relationship between water, beliefs and literary traditions of the Thai and some ethnic Tai groups. The findings reveal that the Thais and the Tais have religious beliefs involving water concerning four important water beings: first, the water spirit, known as sua nam (เสื้อน้ำ); second, the water serpent known as nguek (เงือก); third, the great serpent or naga (นาค); and fourth; the river of the dead.

Pathom Hongsuwan

This article intends to analyze the relationship between Buddhism and the indigenous beliefs that are evident in the Tai myths of the Buddha’s relics. From the analysis of the characters and their symbolic behaviour, we can see that the religious beliefs of the Tai people were very complex. The relationship between religious beliefs shown in the myths of the Tai people shows various characteristics and can be categorized into three groups: first, the conflict between Buddhism and indigenous beliefs; second, the integration of indigenous beliefs into Buddhism; and third, the integration of Buddhism into indigenous beliefs. The kind of relationship that occurs in each group is due to the variety of aspects of these beliefs that co- exist. The conflict between Buddhism and indigenous beliefs is reflected in the myth’s plot, motif and character behaviour, which is due to the conflicting behaviour of the two completely opposite belief systems in the myths. The acceptance of each offer between the two belief systems is reflected in certain sets of motifs and character behaviour. The study of the integration of the two belief systems shows the development of the mythical characters and their behaviour, thus reflecting the religious thoughts and beliefs of the Tai people.

Yulin Lai

1 Introduction When talking about the relationship between religion and charity, people tend to focus only on the five major religions including Buddhism and Christianity etc., but neglect the role of folk belief. 1 A perfect case for the study of the relationship between folk belief and

Reconstruction of an indigenous community’s belief in dragon

Research on prehistoric Batu Naga Site in Kuningan, West Java

Ali Akbar

Archaeological remains can be used as data to reconstruct the culture of the past. At the top of Mount Tilu, Kuningan, stands a menhir (standing stone) decorated with reliefs. The indigenous community which once cared for this site has long vanished. This paper is the result of a research applying archaeological method and semiotic interpretation to reconstruct the life of this long-dead indigenous community. The reliefs on the menhir tell of the beliefs of this ancient which venerated the dragon. They considered this creature as the beginning of life on the earth. This dragon is different from its counterparts known in other parts of the world.

Series:

McMahon

A number of features characterize late Ming vernacular fiction as part of the general cultural expansion of that period. These features centrally include the exposition of sexual transgression and the function of containment, by which is meant the ideology of the control of desires. The late Ming writers are studiously devoted to illustrating minute, obscene, or erotic details that belief the decorum of the orthodox surface. However, this subversiveness of detail decreases in intensity from the late Ming to the early Qing, when values of containment are reinvoked.
Related topics are: the theme of causality and its role in the story's mapping of the logic of adultery; adultery as an emblem of the woman's escape from containment and the use of the narrative topos of the gap in the wall as a locus of sexual transgression.

Natchapol Sirisawad

The purpose of this article is to analyze aspects of the relationship between Buddhism, indigenous beliefs and people through the names of lokapālas in early Buddhist literature, and especially the names of the three great kings, Dhataraṭṭha, Virūḷha (or Virūḷhaka), and Virūpakkha. The study revealed that the name of the three great kings, Dhataraṭṭha, Virūḷha (or Virūḷhaka), and Virūpakkha, may reflect traces of earlier or contemporaneous indigenous beliefs and people who had cultural encounters with Buddhism. The indigenous beliefs consist of the nāga cult, belief in spirits, early practice of urn-burials and belief in the soul or spirit of the dead rising from the grave, primitive beliefs of Aryan people and, nāga as a tribe. Buddhism shows an attempt to incorporate these beliefs and people into the Buddhist cosmology by elevating some local gods, indigenous beliefs and tribal people to divine status, such as lokapālas, who become chieftains of the gandhabbas, the nāgas, and the kumbhaṇḍas, in order to show acceptance of earlier or contemporaneous indigenous beliefs and tribes. These findings may help to improve understanding more of the sociology of early Buddhism.

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Gonda

In this study the author considers the functions and significance attached in ancient India to gold in all its aspects. Among these is the belief that gold is or represents light or the sun; is essentially identical to fire, fiery or brilliant energy, truth, ritual exactitude, prestige, royalty; is regarded as a symbol of life and human spirit, of purity and incorruptibility; its function as amulets and talismans; its relations with the gods; the various uses made of it in rites and ceremonies (soma and animal sacrifices, royal and funeral rites, and so on); ritual utensilia made of gold, symbolic actions transferring its inherent power and finally, its use as a means of purification and expiation.
This study leads to a better understanding of many Vedic texts, of various details of the ancient Indian sacrificial ritual, theology (including, for example, the deification of the sacrificer), speculative thought, cosmogony, of the significance of figures such as the golden goose, the golden Purusa and Hiraṇyagarbha.

Realizing the Dream of R.A. Kartini

Her Sister’s Letters from Colonial Java

Joost J. Coté

Realizing the dream of R.A. Kartini: Her sisters’ letters from colonial Java presents a unique collection of documents reflecting the lives, attitudes, and politics of four Javanese women in the early twentieth century. Joost J. Coté translates the correspondence between Raden Ajeng Kartini, Indonesia’s first feminist, and her sisters, revealing for the first time her sisters’ contributions in defining and carrying out her ideals. With this collection, Coté aims to situate Kartini’s sisters within the more famous Kartini narrative—and indirectly to situate Kartini herself within a broader narrative.
The letters reveal the emotional lives of these modern women and their concerns for the welfare of their husbands and the success of their children in rapidly changing times. While by no means radical nationalists, and not yet extending their horizons to the possibility of an Indonesian nation, these members of a new middle class nevertheless confidently express their belief in their own national identity.
Realizing the dream of R.A. Kartini is essential reading for scholars of Indonesian history, providing documentary evidence of the culture of modern, urban Java in the late colonial era and an insight into the ferment of the Indonesian nationalist movement in which these women and their husbands played representative roles.